Protesters in Mali took to the streets of the capital yesterday to make it clear to the United Nations (UN) Peacekeepers in Mali, that they have overstayed their welcome.
The protesters had the country’s flags which they kept waving in the air, while frantically chanting “anti-UN slogans.”
Mali and the UN have had a tensed relationship over the years. Following Mali’s refusal to authorise a U.N. mission, deployed to investigate alleged ongoing human rights violations in the country, the tension intensified to unfavourable limits.
“MINUSMA has done nothing here. We want them to leave. We are here to show the international community that we no longer want MINUSMA. We don’t care about MINUSMA. We love our country. We want our soldiers, led by Colonel Assimi Goita,” a protester, Lassina Doumbia said.
“They can go back to their homes and stay there. We don’t need their help anymore. Assimi Goita is enough for us. The Malian youth is enough for us, ” another protester, Samba M. Wangara re-echoed.
Note that in August 2022, a Malian civil society group issued a warning, stating that should the U.N. mission in Mali, known as “MINUSMA” fail to leave the country by September 22, there will be massive protests to that effect.
Cheikh Ballo, a strong advocate of the organisation, gave reasons why it had become paramount to chase out the UN mission in Mali.
“The terrorist in Mali is France and, when we chased France away, what remained was the MINUSMA which is run by the French” he says.
“So, everything that happens in Mali now goes through MINUSMA. That’s why the only order of the day is the departure of MINUSMA so that we can find peace because we have lost our sovereignty,” he explained.
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